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Flintoff goes the Afridi way: retires from test cricket.

by Naked Cricket



"My body has told me it's time to stop. Since 2005 I've had two years when I've done nothing but rehab from one injury or another."

Last week at Bored: “Andrew Flintoff: The Shahid Afridi of England”. Now see what he’s gone and done today - Retired from test cricket. He could have retired from many other pursuits, such as drinking, IPL, one-dayers, but the whites got shabbier.

Had he retired a few years back, Flintoff could have made something of his other careers – now, as was evident in the IPL, he’s a big lad with even bigger doubts.

But did he bowl a heavy, almost Stonehenge sized ball – though it seemed obvious in Cardiff, he was doing so under huge duress. He was a slave bowler, being whipped to bowl harder and faster, no longer master of his own limbs.

I expected him to break down on the field while England bowled him into the ground. Instead, he will walk away after an Ashes' summer. Or will he be on the stretcher to surgery once more?

Either way, the comparisons between him and Afridi are obvious. Both got away with murder. Both players have unfilled test careers. Both were unreasonably loved by their nations, because of which their selections depended more on their whims than their performance, fitness or criteria that worked for other players.

They were the star players. But when you look back, so fleeting were their test careers, they were more like the shooting stars.

9 comments:

straight point said...

one difference...

afridi can still surprise us all and play test cricket again...at least he is not hounded by injury problems... :)

Ottayan said...

Actually, Flintoff was similar to Shoaib Akthar, barring the genital warts.

Husha said...

You jinxed him with last week's post.

Q said...

Afridi's retirement from test cricket lasted only a week.. don't think Freddy will reverse the decision..

Naked Cricket said...

SP, his injuries are elsewhere, upstairs.

And he'll surprise himself too, if he plays test cricket. Think he wants the captaincy, that's when he'll play tests.

Naked Cricket said...

Ott, spot on there.

Shoiab Akhtar tho will never retire from test cricket. Test cricket will retire, but Shoiab will never declare his innings.

Naked Cricket said...

Husha, what next, blaming the IPL. That's what KhufiaBaaz says anyway.

Naked Cricket said...

Q, is Afridi's status 'on test vacation' then? Or is it not-retired but unavailable for tests right now?

Can't believe, after the T20 heroics he didn't play in Lanka - if not now, then when - the kid has no sense of timing, should have been playing, he's in the mental form of his life. Actually got a not-out in a limited over game. Imagine.

Q said...

NC,

Afridi announced his retirement in 07 I think.. but soon turned it around.. he was never selected for tests after that.. the selectors or the captains never felt he was good enough for test cricket..

As for this series.. he was injured.. the last ball of the T20 final hit him on his ankle.. he got treatment done for it in England as well.. he opted out cos of the injury.. said so himself..